Tomorrow is one of those days that gets circled in all our calendars: the finale of the 15th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” This season has been one of the most contentious in the show’s history, both in terms of on-screen performances and structural changes to the format. Now I know the Ideal Pinstripe Alley Reader may not be versed in “Drag Race” lore, so I’ve put together a helpful little guide for you all.
Sixteen queens enter the competition and just four are left standing. While fan votes do have an impact on the final result, the decision about who wins, taking home a show record $200,000 prize, is Ru’s alone. To help you decide which queen to root for, and the ones to support when they tour your town, I present the best queens’ best Yankee comps.
Sasha Colby — Aaron Judge
The betting favorite to win the whole damn thing, Sasha’s become something of a legend in the drag community. She’s transcended the sometimes-niche world of drag with performances introducing stars like Jennifer Lopez, but most importantly, she’s known as the drag queen’s favorite drag queen.
Judge’s trajectory mirrors Sasha’s. He’s not just one of, if not the very best in the world at his profession, but his physical size and the team he plays for gives him crossover appeal most baseball players just don’t have. The constant improvements to his game, from cutting down strikeouts and optimizing his swing, make him the role model for just about every player coming up into the league, the ballplayer’s favorite ballplayer. Moreover, Sasha’s given back to young queens, the drag mother to season 14 contestant Kerri Colby. Judge has assumed that kind of leadership role as well, looking every bit like Anthony Volpe’s big brother since the rookie joined camp earlier this year.
Marcia Marcia Marcia — Harrison Bader
Marcia was my favorite queen this year, and the most attractive, who trademarked a number of her looks this season with high socks:
Come on @Barbie let’s go party pic.twitter.com/H3TbUD3zE2— Marcia Marcia Marcia (@marciax3nyc) November 1, 2022
I’m a high socks purist. I think just about every player should have the high socks on the field, and Bader’s on-field swagger matched with his strong sense of style off it make him a perfect match for Marcia:
Unfortunately, Marcia ended up in seventh place, meaning we haven’t seen her on the show in a few weeks. Harrison Bader started the year on the IL, so we haven’t seen the Yankees’ most attractive player in about the same timespan.
Luxx Noir London — Gerrit Cole
Luxx is a borderline Hall of Fame talent, and nobody should be that surprised if she comes away with this season’s crown. Her musical theatre degree made her a can’t-miss prospect when she started performing five years ago, the kind of blue-chip talent that Cole was coming out of UCLA.
The downside to each is, despite their talent or perhaps caused by it, they tend to take things a little too seriously sometimes. Luxx’s many “-gates” throughout the season, including the metal and country challenge drama is just one example. The drama is never really big drama, but it’s just enough to get under her skin or someone else’s. Similarly, Cole’s not above screaming at umpires or setting fans of opposing teams off with accusations of various substances — meaningless drama but awful fun.
Sugar and Spice — Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Aaron Hicks
It’s time to be a little bit controversial: Sugar and Spice annoyed the hell out of me. Drag Race’s first pair of twin contestants, S&S walked the line between fun camp and obnoxious, all too often falling on the latter side in my eyes. They’re both really talented, no question, but I found myself rolling my eyes whenever they opened their mouths ... or other areas of the body.
Hicks and IKF are unquestionably talented baseball players. MLB roster spots aren’t handed out as freebies; they are two of the 700 or so best in the world at what they do. I’d never take that talent away from them, but I’m also not going to stop rolling my eyes whenever I see them on a lineup card.
Anetra — Anthony Volpe
Anetra is on this vanguard of the new school of drag — more of a full body performance, with flips and dives that we just didn’t see in the scene 10 years ago. Her lip syncs alone were worth the price of admission this season.
This kind of athleticism as an art form has made her one of the finalists this season, and draws comparisons to Volpe, who brings a power-speed combination to the club that we haven’t had in a generation. It’s more than just one player, though — in the same way Anetra is the biggest face of this new wave in drag performance, Volpe is simply the first of a new generation of faster, more athletic Yankee prospects.
Irene Dubois — Ben Rortvedt
I have no memory of Irene Dubois, the first queen eliminated and someone I had completely forgotten about even existing before last week’s reunion. It’s entirely possible Irene is in fact Rortvedt, who has been seen one-and-a-half-times in pinstripes since being acquired in March of 2022.
Mistress Isabelle Brooks — Josh Donaldson
This is a hard one. Mistress is my least favorite of the finalists, the queen I would argue starts the most meaningless, least interesting drama, not unlike the Yankees’ nominal third baseman.
Mistress is known for her drama, of course, but also her “eras,” like say, being in your struggling Oakland catcher era, then your MVP candidate era, then your reliable veteran bat era, and now being in your “oh, yeah, this guy’s on the roster” era.
Katya Zamolodchikova — Emma Baccellieri
Going slightly off the board here, obviously Katya isn’t on this season and Emma’s not on the Yankees ...
This information going public makes me feel comfortable sharing my darkest and grossest habit from college: Brewing coffee with Red Bull instead of water. https://t.co/nXkY8pdoST— Emma Baccellieri (@emmabaccellieri) February 21, 2019
... but this is Katya behavior and I will not be elaborating further.
I hope you tune in and enjoy the finale tomorrow. Drag is an integral part of queer culture and more than that, tied deep to the roots of New York as a cradle of creativity and expression. Never in the history of the art has it been more threatened by people who know less about it. Watch the finale — after the Yankees beat the Twins, of course — support a local show, and who knows, you might find a few similarities between drag and baseball on your own.